Long Live Mr. O’Toole

of the many shots you can find of Mr. O'Toole, this one sums up the intense humanity he embodied.

of the many shots you can find of Mr. O’Toole, this one sums up the intense humanity he embodied.

and he will
live eternally
at least in this heart and mind

see…
for all the amazing
powerful
fun
funny
heart-wrenching
deep
effervescent
moments he created on film
(and i can only assume onstage)
my memory will always hold
dearest
the honesty in his eyes
that so simply revealed
his commitment
to the moments he engaged

I saw him for the 1st time in
“The Curse Of The Ruling Class”
in the late ’70s
as i was opening up to a
volatile world
and rooting out
a place for myself
he completely encompassed
the insanity i perceived
as it was expressed in that
screenplay

i discovered
not only the power of
storytelling
but the unabashed joy of
telling them with your entire being

 

 

 

here’s a snippet of my soon to be released tale of my trip on the Appalachian Trail:

I actually got the chance to work with Mr. O’Toole in the 90’s, and he was kind enough to invite my partner & me into his trailer for coffee on a real snowycold night on a landing strip location set in Broomfield, CO.  That opportunity, to be with an iconic figure of my development, informed me of the simplicity of life and work.  He was the easiest actor I’ve ever worked with…fluid…giving…and this reflected in his personal demeanor as well.  During the shooting of our first scene together, he was so smoothly delivering some of the worst lines ever written while his character was preparing a cup of tea.  He came to a point of emphasis, dropped the lid of the teapot closed, and then undercut a rather key line with a bold lack of emphasis, and looked up at me.  With one simple action, my hero had carved a beautiful moment out of nothing.  I was blown away.  Sadly, the next line was mine…”CUT!”  He just smiled right into my eyes.

while i was grateful for the moments we shared working
i find more memorable the time spent in his trailer drinking his coffee and smoking his Gauloises
while he did regale us with one story of meeting Burton & Harris in a bar on the West End
for drinks during the intermissions of the 3 separate shows they were performing in 3 different theaters
he was mostly interested in talking about family
he pried my partner for tales of his kids
and positively glowed while telling us of doing a show with his granddaughter at her school

i guess it’s the little things that matter most
that’s what i gleaned from this monster master
so as i approach my various details of days
i will always remember:

“If you can’t do something willingly and joyfully, then don’t do it. If you give up drinking, don’t go moaning about it; go back on the bottle. Do. As. Thou. Wilt.”  Peter O’Toole

as The 14th Earl of Gurney

as The 14th Earl of Gurney

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